In a massive embarrassment for Mamata Banerjee, the Calcutta High Court on Monday ordered the West Bengal government to take down all anti-NRC, CAA ads. The court asked the Trinamool Congress government to stop all advertisements that say the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will not be implemented in West Bengal. Next date of hearing is on January 9, 2020. The order comes on a day when the BJP’s working chief JP Nadda is leading massive pro-CAA rally in Kolkata. Mamata Banerjee has been the most vocal among the Opposition leaders over the citizenship legislation. On number of occasions, she has challenged the Modi government at the Centre over the issues. There are reports that the West Bengal government has stopped the work on the impending NRC.
Last week, Banerjee held three back-to-back rallies against the citizenship law. Addressing a rally in the city, the Trinamool Congress chief alleged that the BJP is trying to brand the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as a fight between Hindus and Muslims.
"Just because the BJP has got the majority it does not mean that they can do whatever they want. If BJP has guts, it should go for a United Nations-monitored referendum on Citizenship Amendment Act and the NRC. Let an impartial organisation like the UN or the Human Rights Commission conduct it," she said.
Iterating that the contentious law and the NRC won’t be allowed in West Bengal, Banerjee said that BJP was founded in 1980 and was asking for citizenship documents of 1970 from the people.
“We are born here and that is our biggest identity. BJP does not have the right to determine our citizenship. Do we have to wear BJP’s amulet to prove our citizenship? A party which was formed in 1980 is seeking documents from those who were born in 1950s, 60s, 70s,” she quipped.
The agitation erupted after the Narendra Modi government passed the contentious legislation in Parliament on December 11. Two days later, President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent and making it a law on December 13. The Citizenship Act grants Indian nationality to Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Parsis and Sikhs who fled Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan in half the time of other groups if they can argue they suffered religious discrimination in their country of origin.